Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 4/15/19 2:01 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
With Liv and Helen back with the Doctor, things spiral into the penultimate story as the Eleven guides them to a potential new source of information on how to handle the Ravenous. After the intensity of 'Deeptime' and the continuity-driven power of 'Companion', "L.E.G.E.N.D." is a quieter story that takes time to deconstruct some of the ideas behind fairy tale stories. The appearance of the Brothers Grimm and their sci-fi equivalent in a professor researching myths and fables throughout the universe really hammer the nature of those themes home and they bring with them a strong atmosphere that allows for plenty of time to catch your breath. But the slower direction, tone, and pacing make this one feel much more like a standard Doctor Who story than the previous two and the plot while interesting isn't quite as up to snuff either.
It's a standard scenario of a computer wanting to take over and influence the world around it combined with a misunderstood meaning and some quirky magical side effects to make it all work. The cast is good with McGann, Walker, Morahan, and Bonnar all providing fine performances as they are split up in various directions over the course of the narrative. The Doctor and the Eleven's storyline is the best by far as they are forced to work together and contend with the machine and its influences directly. But Liv and Helen are both given some fun developments and side cast interactions to bounce conversations and dialogue off of that feel very organic and appropriate to who they've been built up to be. Arthur Hughes plays a strong Wilhelm Grimm and Tanya Moodie is fine as the professor Marathanga but there isn't too much that distinguishes them from other Who characters beyond their importance in the narrative.
It all coalesces together rather predictably with no real fireworks outside of a glass explosion and a very quick send off into the final part that feels rushed but works OK. As a story by itself, "L.E.G.E.N.D." isn't boring and there are plenty of good ideas and interactions to enjoy it as a standalone story. But compared to its predecessors in the set, it does feel like a bit of a comedown in terms of energy and scale and is probably the weakest of the set. It's fine especially if you are in a fantasy mood but it's not the greatest way to hype listeners up for the coming finale.